‘Billy said, “I'll do this – but I'm not one who performs because of an urgent need for approval”'
I had seen the sign about eight months earlier at a prop house. It was just an odd piece that caught my eye and belonged in a daytime TV studio, to flash when the audience should clap.
When I got to the hotel suite with my assistant the journalist was interviewing Billy Joel in another room, so we set up in the bedroom. We stripped off the sheets, plugged the sign in and I pulled the curtains closed until I felt there was the right ratio of light between the sign and the room. I wanted the room to be dark, but with just enough light to see what was going on.